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City of Greater Dandenong Animal Management

City of Greater Dandenong Animal Management

Birds

Ducks

Ducks are a common resident of Greater Dandenong lakes and wetlands. Some of the local species include the Australian Wood Duck, Pacific Black Duck and Chestnut Teal.

Ducks are an important part of the food web; they consume insects and plant matter. The parks and wetlands within the City of Greater Dandenong provide lots of natural food for them.

 

Seagulls

Silver Gulls or Seagulls as they are commonly known are an Australian native bird that is protected under the Victorian Wildlife Act 1975. Under this Act it is an offence to harm Seagulls and other protected wildlife.

Seagulls are typically medium to large birds, usually grey or white, often with black markings on the head or wings. They typically have harsh wailing or squawking calls, stout, longish Gulls are typically medium to large birds, usually grey or white, often with black markings on the head or wings.

Seagulls nest in large, densely packed noisy colonies. In recent months there has been a significant increase in the number of seagulls observed within central Dandenong. They lay two or three speckled eggs in nests composed of vegetation. The young are precocial, being born with dark mottled down, and mobile upon hatching.

Seagulls are resourceful, inquisitive and intelligent birds that demonstrating complex methods of communication and a highly developed social structure. For example, many colonies display mobbing behaviour, attacking and harassing would-be predators and other intruders. Many have learned to coexist successfully with humans and have thrived in human habitats.

Most gulls are ground-nesting carnivores, which take live food or scavenge opportunistically. Live food often includes crabs and small fish. Gulls have unhinging jaws which allow them to consume large prey.

Seagulls are highly adaptable feeders that opportunistically take a wide range of prey. The food taken by gulls includes fish and marine and freshwater invertebrates, both alive and already dead, terrestrial arthropods and invertebrates such as insects and earthworms, rodents, eggs, carrion, offal, reptiles, amphibians, plant items such as seeds and fruit, human refuse, chips, and even other birds.


Feed the bins not the birds

While it can be a pleasurable experience to feed the birds, we must remember that they are wild animals and feeding can do birds a great deal of harm. Feeding wildlife inappropriate foods, like bread, rice or food scraps can cause dietary problems and sickness.

With a constant supply of unnatural foods:

  • the young never learn to forage for themselves, which may lead to starvation
  • animal welfare
  • large numbers of birds in one area can increase the spread of disease among birds and to humans

Other issues caused by feeding the Seagulls are:

  • high nutrient levels in water caused by floating bread can lead to growth of blue-green algae, which is poisonous to wildlife and humans
  • blockage of gutters and flooding
  • increased numbers throughout central Dandenong

Some foods may even be toxic and harm the birds or impact their long-term survival. Enjoy watching local wildlife, but please feed the bins, not the birds.

For more information contact Council